2017 Nissan Rogue Sport First Drive: Milking The Cash Cow

– Nashville, Tennessee

Where were you when “Nissan Rogue” became a byword for “car?”

It’s fine if you don’t remember, but it’s basically happened. Even Nissan seems to be surprised how Americans have taken to the Rogue. It’s now on pace this year to outsell the previous byword for car, the Toyota Camry, and become this country’s best-selling passenger vehicle overall. Hence the reason for the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport. On sale for more than a decade as the Nissan Qashqai in other countries, the Rogue Sport is just arriving in the United States now to satisfy this country’s unquenchable demand for SUVs.

Some may recall Nissan does, in fact, still sell the Juke subcompact crossover. Largely unchanged since it first appeared in 2010, even its maker will now admit it’s too small and too weird to directly take on the likes of the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 in the still-hot little SUV class. Yet the Rogue Sport is larger than the current crop of subcompact crossovers, so Nissan also says the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage from the next class up are rivals for the little Rogue.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport: First Drive
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport: First Drive

But as is the case with most of these SUVs, the Rogue Sport is destined to lure more than a few potential small-sedan shoppers who may otherwise have gone for something like Nissan’s own Sentra.

 

 

While it’s hard to distinguish at a glance the Rogue Sport from the Rogue normal, the differences become clearer when the two are parked side by side. The smaller version is much smaller, in fact, giving up s...